Triad teachers take classes on virtual field trips during pandemic

What's Right with Our Schools

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — For schools, May is typically the month of field trips. But like most everything else that was considered extra-curricular in schools, the coronavirus put a stop to any traveling.

According to Broadview Middle School math and science coach Jenn Russell Burns, “Every year I taught, we were usually somewhere, usually in the first week in May so it was kinda hard for me knowing that we weren’t going anywhere.”

She didn’t want the students to miss out on the learning opportunities, so she looked online for the next best thing – virtual trips.

“In my research, just fumbling around I realized that all aquariums and zoos were doing live videos, and they were recording visits with the animals, and so I put it together that they got to visit a bunch of those places,” said Russell Burns. “Even though we weren’t on a bus traveling down the road with the kids at least we were able to bring those experiences to their houses.”

The response was so good she decided to share what she had learned with other teachers like Andy Dunkerton who teaches 8th grade.

Dunkerton’s students would typically be taking a trip to Washington D.C., and while he was disappointed he couldn’t share history with his kids in person, this was the next best thing.

“There are so many resources available online, and, using a presentation platform that kinda walks them through it in an easy fashion, we were able to put together a presentation that takes them through about eight or nine museums, eight or nine of the important monuments in D.C.,” Dunkerton said. “We would have visited the Capitol building, toured the white house. One of the big highlights is the museum of African American culture. Usually, we end our trip there on Sunday morning.”

Dunkerton said even virtually it was a big hit. Such a hit that now they are doing a virtual field trip every Friday!

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